: Steering Wheel Off Center, AH!



spearfish25
05-25-13, 12:07 PM
So I've owned my car a total of 5 days. By day 2 I noticed the steering wheel had developed a 2deg left turn while the car was tracking straight just fine. Assuming Cadillac would blame me for hitting a pothole (I didn't), I took it to a local shop I often use for an alignment. We went round and round for 3 hours and the damn wheel is still favoring the left slightly. On the first alignment, the front left toe was off and adjusted back to spec. What's particularly frustrating is that the speed sensitive steering amplifies the issue when going slow, but at speed on the highway it's almost imperceptible. I called my local dealership and the service guy told me 'tough luck you have to pay for a full alignment' despite this being a brand new $70k car and I just paid for a professional alignment that couldn't rectify the issue. Now I'm waiting until Tuesday to talk to a manager. So far, not so impressed with my Cadillac service experience. Maybe time to try a different dealership.

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Second dealer told me that I shouldn't get the car aligned until there are 5k miles on the odometer because the suspension has to 'settle'. My BS meter is starting to max out.

CTSMOZZ
05-25-13, 01:11 PM
If ur car is tracking straight then the alignment is fine, you will have to have someone adjust the steering wheel which is done with the tie rods, I had to have this done to my CTS twice.

spearfish25
05-25-13, 02:00 PM
If ur car is tracking straight then the alignment is fine, you will have to have someone adjust the steering wheel which is done with the tie rods, I had to have this done to my CTS twice.

Yeah, I found some descriptions online that seem easy enough. But my crystal ball shows me screwing up the alignment and then going back for a full shop alignment :).

Snotty Boom Body
05-25-13, 02:33 PM
Your first alignment shop should of been able to fix it unless there's some weird set up on the V's
Just have to turn wheel in the straight ahead position and lock it into place so it won't move then turn the left tie rod a little to the left and the right tie rod a little to the left and everything should be back in alignment.

mpouls1
05-25-13, 03:00 PM
Are they using the CTS specs or the CTS V-specs? There is a difference IIRC. I roll my eyes when they ask if the tires need rotation. Every time I go, I always tell my service adviser (which is great guy) to remind them that this is a V.

the blur
05-25-13, 06:40 PM
5 days and you paid for an alignment?????????????????
The dealer would have handled it.

spearfish25
05-25-13, 08:04 PM
5 days and you paid for an alignment?????????????????
The dealer would have handled it.

Both dealers I called claimed "alignments are the customer's issue". They don't want to cover it for free. I'll still talk with a manager come Tuesday though. I can be very vocal, particularly after spending $70k.

Cadillac Cust Svc
05-25-13, 09:43 PM
So I've owned my car a total of 5 days. By day 2 I noticed the steering wheel had developed a 2deg left turn while the car was tracking straight just fine. Assuming Cadillac would blame me for hitting a pothole (I didn't), I took it to a local shop I often use for an alignment. We went round and round for 3 hours and the damn wheel is still favoring the left slightly. On the first alignment, the front left toe was off and adjusted back to spec. What's particularly frustrating is that the speed sensitive steering amplifies the issue when going slow, but at speed on the highway it's almost imperceptible. I called my local dealership and the service guy told me 'tough luck you have to pay for a full alignment' despite this being a brand new $70k car and I just paid for a professional alignment that couldn't rectify the issue. Now I'm waiting until Tuesday to talk to a manager. So far, not so impressed with my Cadillac service experience. Maybe time to try a different dealership.

----------

Second dealer told me that I shouldn't get the car aligned until there are 5k miles on the odometer because the suspension has to 'settle'. My BS meter is starting to max out.

Hello spearfish,

I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues with your new CTS-V’s steering. I know how frustrating issues can be on a new vehicle. If you would like, I could assist you with this issue and talk to the dealership as well. If you would like me to assist you with this, I would need you to private message me some information, such as your name, contact info, VIN, and dealership you are in contact with. Thank you very much and I will be looking for your updates.

Gregory W.
Cadillac Customer Care

spearfish25
05-26-13, 10:11 AM
/\ Thank you. PM sent

SLOWBRA
05-26-13, 11:00 AM
My wagon has the same issue. I noted this during the delivery and they have tried 3 times to get it right. They made me wait until I hit 700 miles. My first alignment was at that time and 2 additional were performed within the next 1K miles. My issue is still not fixed and it's going back in this coming week. I drove my friends CTSV sedan and his is steering is perfect. We even swapped wheels/tires to see if it was perhaps one of my tires causing the issue.

This is very frustrating for me as well, but thus far my dealer has been good to me. I will tell them to speak with GM this time because clearly this is something they should have been able to get right after 3 attempts.

I've also seen posts from other wagon owners complaining of the same thing. I don't know if they were able to resolve the issue or not. Perhaps this is something specific to do with the wagons? Let's keep in touch to see what becomes of this. Since there is a GM person monitoring this, perhaps they can find out what other has been reported and if there is a documented fix.

the blur
05-26-13, 11:57 AM
It's a simple toe setting. Being that they are mass production vehicles, they set the alignment in 2 seconds, and it continues down the assembly line.

SLOWBRA
05-26-13, 12:04 PM
It's a simple toe setting. Being that they are mass production vehicles, they set the alignment in 2 seconds, and it continues down the assembly line.

Clearly it's not as simple as a toe adjustment since mines been in 3 times. The print out shows its within spec, but it still pulls to the right abnormally and the steering wheel is off center. They even had me sit in the car to get the steering where I wanted it the last time.

the blur
05-26-13, 12:43 PM
Clearly it's not as simple as a toe adjustment since mines been in 3 times. The print out shows its within spec, but it still pulls to the right abnormally and the steering wheel is off center. They even had me sit in the car to get the steering where I wanted it the last time.

Then it's a bad tire. Post your camber / caster settings. There is one highway by my house, that just upsets my whole car. Every time I drive on it, I think something is wrong with my suspension. Until I drive on another highway, and it's perfect.

SLOWBRA
05-26-13, 01:07 PM
Then it's a bad tire. Post your camber / caster settings. There is one highway by my house, that just upsets my whole car. Every time I drive on it, I think something is wrong with my suspension. Until I drive on another highway, and it's perfect.

I don't want to steal the original guys thread, but if you look above you will see that I swapped wheels/tires with a fellow CTSV sedan owner and it did not change the problem. We tested it on the same stretch of road.

I'll dig up the print outs and scan them.

MacBuster
05-26-13, 01:45 PM
Sound weird, but are you sure it's not that the cowling just beihdn the wheel is a little off centre?

I could have sworn I had the same issues, until I noticed that my reference point was actually a little off kilter. when I compared it to the dash structure behind the cowling, I realized the wheel itself was actually straight, but the cowling wasnt

dr.duct_mossburg
05-26-13, 06:50 PM
Lol.... Why not just pull the steering wheel off and put it on a different tooth. You can adjust it so it's straight through the teeth on the steering shaft. My guess is that the steering wheel may have been taken off and put back on incorrectly.

spearfish25
05-26-13, 06:57 PM
Lol.... Why not just pull the steering wheel off and put it on a different tooth. You can adjust it so it's straight through the teeth on the steering shaft. My guess is that the steering wheel may have been taken off and put back on incorrectly.

Typically the splines on the steering column are too coarse an adjustment. One spline ends up being a really profound change in the angle of the wheel.

The idea that the column trim is a bad reference point is certainly plausible. I also think the V is somewhat prone to tramlining and crown on Chicago roads exacerbates the issue. Occasionally things seems perfectly straight while other times its off. And it's never off to the right, only the left.

DCV
05-26-13, 10:22 PM
V is somewhat prone to tramlining and crown on Chicago roads exacerbates the issue.

I have noticed that as well, here in DC where the buses have crowned the roads my V is all over the place as the wide tires seem to want to exactly follow the grooves and it gets real darty steering when I switch lanes. I suggest the OP go find a real smooth road and take thre service manager for a drive on it.

1997BlackETC
05-26-13, 11:26 PM
I had the identical issue on my Wagon that I got around 5 months ago. 1st dealer could not seem to correct the issue after 2 /3 hour tries. Second dealer fixed the issue in 15 minutes, it was the rear toe that was slightly out so the car was going down the road a little sideways therefore throwing off the steering wheel angle to compensate for the bad rear toe. The guy adjusted the rear toe real quick and now the car tracks perfect. Pay close attention to the rear toe, I'll bet that's your issue too.

spearfish25
05-26-13, 11:35 PM
Hmmm. I see how rear toe could do it. I'll look at my alignment sheet again. Even if the rear toe is within spec, each side being near the extreme of spec in opposite directions (one neg, one pos) would make a slight crab situation for sure. Alignment is so annoying since its out of my ability range...wish I could do this at home. Maybe I should just buy one of those Hunter machines...:)

the blur
05-27-13, 01:37 AM
Hmmm. I see how rear toe could do it. I'll look at my alignment sheet again. Even if the rear toe is within spec, each side being near the extreme of spec in opposite directions (one neg, one pos) would make a slight crab situation for sure. Alignment is so annoying since its out of my ability range...wish I could do this at home. Maybe I should just buy one of those Hunter machines...:)

I brought the alignment kit from ebay. Because my Escalade tires were feathering, and the dealer refused to align it. I set the toe in my driveway, and it's been pretty good ever since.

SLOWBRA
05-28-13, 08:24 AM
I had the identical issue on my Wagon that I got around 5 months ago. 1st dealer could not seem to correct the issue after 2 /3 hour tries. Second dealer fixed the issue in 15 minutes, it was the rear toe that was slightly out so the car was going down the road a little sideways therefore throwing off the steering wheel angle to compensate for the bad rear toe. The guy adjusted the rear toe real quick and now the car tracks perfect. Pay close attention to the rear toe, I'll bet that's your issue too.


Mine is going in tomorrow to have it looked at again. I'll let them know about your resolution, but I do vaguely recall them doing a 4-wheel alignment each time. I'm also curious to know if you, or the original person that started this thread, both have the suede steering wheel?

spearfish25
05-28-13, 08:29 AM
Mine is suede, but I don't know how that would affect things. I'm suspecting this has to do with the variable assist power steering. When they 'center' the wheel with the car at idle, the assist is maximal which gives a little slop in the on-center steering. Thus getting it centered may be more difficult. The left tilt is much less when I'm at highway speeds and the steering assist dials down. Maybe I'll have TCS off so the steering is in the more firm mode before they start adjusting it.

SLOWBRA
05-28-13, 08:38 AM
I was looking for any similarities for those having this issue besides being wagons. I don't this it's the steering wheel, but based on an earlier post I thought I would mention it to the dealer.

spearfish25
05-28-13, 08:42 AM
I was looking for any similarities for those having this issue besides being wagons. I don't this it's the steering wheel, but based on an earlier post I thought I would mention it to the dealer.

Sounds good. I'm game for doing whatever it takes to fix it. I have a call in to my service manager. Will post back when I hear more.

Cadillac Cust Svc
05-28-13, 09:06 AM
My wagon has the same issue. I noted this during the delivery and they have tried 3 times to get it right. They made me wait until I hit 700 miles. My first alignment was at that time and 2 additional were performed within the next 1K miles. My issue is still not fixed and it's going back in this coming week. I drove my friends CTSV sedan and his is steering is perfect. We even swapped wheels/tires to see if it was perhaps one of my tires causing the issue.

This is very frustrating for me as well, but thus far my dealer has been good to me. I will tell them to speak with GM this time because clearly this is something they should have been able to get right after 3 attempts.

I've also seen posts from other wagon owners complaining of the same thing. I don't know if they were able to resolve the issue or not. Perhaps this is something specific to do with the wagons? Let's keep in touch to see what becomes of this. Since there is a GM person monitoring this, perhaps they can find out what other has been reported and if there is a documented fix.

Hello SLOWBRA,

I apologize your new CTS-V is experiencing an alignment issue. I understand how this can be a frustrating situation after driving another vehicle with the same model and year that has perfect steering. I am happy to hear your dealer has been good to you. Please keep us updated on this issue and private message us with additional concerns or questions you would like assistance with.

Sincerely,

Laura M.
Cadillac Customer Service

1997BlackETC
05-28-13, 09:35 AM
It was wierd in my wagon, it seemed like it just went off center on it's own overnight when the car only had around 2K miles on it. I know I did not hit anything in the road, was on the smooth fla roads at the time, it just seemed it went off center on it's own. I've just got the leather steering wheel. The mechanic at the second dealership just changed the rear alignment and like I said it seems fine now.

spearfish25
05-28-13, 09:37 AM
It was wierd in my wagon, it seemed like it just went off center on it's own overnight when the car only had around 2K miles on it. I know I did not hit anything in the road, was on the smooth fla roads at the time, it just seemed it went off center on it's own. I've just got the leather steering wheel. The mechanic at the second dealership just changed the rear alignment and like I said it seems fine now.

I had the same kind of overnight experience without any inciting factor. Don't know if this is toe bolts that just loosen after a while or what.

Did they make you pay for the alignment? I'll pay if I hit something, but it's BS if I'm paying when the car can't hold an alignment on its own.

SLOWBRA
05-28-13, 09:52 AM
My advisor is researching this with GM to see if any bulletins exist. If the Cadillac reps here can do the same it would be appreciated.

I'll bring up the rear toe issue with them as well as the variable steering assist.

Anyhow, my appointment was moved to next week due to shop repairs so I won't have an answer until then.

Cadillac Cust Svc
05-28-13, 10:58 AM
It was wierd in my wagon, it seemed like it just went off center on it's own overnight when the car only had around 2K miles on it. I know I did not hit anything in the road, was on the smooth fla roads at the time, it just seemed it went off center on it's own. I've just got the leather steering wheel. The mechanic at the second dealership just changed the rear alignment and like I said it seems fine now.

Hello 1997BlackETC,

I am happy to hear your rear alignment was able to be fixed and seems to be operating fine now. I hope you continue to enjoy your vehicle and if there are ever concerns or questions you have don't hesitate to reach out to us!

Sincerely,

Laura M.
Cadillac Customer Service

spearfish25
05-28-13, 11:04 AM
Laura,

Earlier in this thread, Gregory posted that I should PM him with my info for assistance. I've done so but not heard anything further. Should I continue to try to reach him or can you help me with my issue?

Cadillac Cust Svc
05-28-13, 11:08 AM
My advisor is researching this with GM to see if any bulletins exist. If the Cadillac reps here can do the same it would be appreciated.

I'll bring up the rear toe issue with them as well as the variable steering assist.

Anyhow, my appointment was moved to next week due to shop repairs so I won't have an answer until then.

Hi SLOWBRA,

Every customer is looked at on a case by case basis. I am more than happy to try and answer any questions for you, if you provide me with your VIN and current mileage via private message.

Laura M.
Cadillac Customer Service

Cadillac Cust Svc
05-28-13, 12:44 PM
Laura,

Earlier in this thread, Gregory posted that I should PM him with my info for assistance. I've done so but not heard anything further. Should I continue to try to reach him or can you help me with my issue?

Hello spearfish25,

I did receive your private message. Gregory and I work together on these forums. I am more than happy to look into this for you and continue to interact with you via private message.

Regards,

Laura M.
Cadillac Customer Service